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The Parker Inheritance

September 3rd, 2019 - Posted in Library News -

by Varian Johnson, 331 pages, Grades 6 and up

Candice is pretty unhappy to be in South Carolina with her mom instead of back in Washington D.C. with both of her parents. Her parents are  trying to unstitch their marriage and her mother wanted some space in her hometown while they work it out. It is hard struggling with the loss of her family and trying to be comfortable in a new place, but she when she finds a letter written by her great-grandmother containing a mystery and then meets Brandon, the perfect mystery-solving companion, things start to get interesting. Brandon and Candice believe they are searching for a long lost treasure as they read and do research about the people mentioned in her great grandma’s letter. The whole history of the town and the mystery specifically is steeped in racial tension both historical and contemporary. Something happened when a tennis match was played between Wallace School (white) and Perkins School (African American) in the 1950s. What did her great grandmother have to do with it? And, who are Siobhan, Enoch and Leanne and how do they fit in? Brandon and Candice follow twists and turns in their search for answers. Racism, colorism (prejudice and privilege based on the shade of your skin even within the Black community) and the concept of passing for white all play a role in this complex historical mystery.

If you enjoy a good mystery, you might also like Hold Fast, by Blue Balliett, or if you are more into historical adventure you might like Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis. If you enjoy books about family with a little mystery too, you might like As Brave As You, by Jason Reynolds.

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